American Express Credit Cards and Charge Cards

John Ganotis

John Ganotis

Updated May 22, 2018

American Express has a wide variety of personal credit cards and charge cards, outlined on this page. For business cards, read our overview of Amex business cards.

Personal Charge Cards

On the high end, Amex offers several charge cards. A charge card is designed to be paid in full every billing period. These cards all have annual fees, and earn Membership Rewards® points.

They’re all geared around earning rewards on travel spending, especially when you book travel through American Express Travel (AmexTravel.com). Since they earn Membership Rewards® points, they also generally give you the most rewards value when you use points for travel expenses.

Card Annual Fee Points Per Dollar
Platinum Card (Review) $550
  • 5X on flights booked directly with airlines or Amex Travel
  • 5X on eligible hotels booked with Amex Travel
  • 1X on all other purchases
Premier Rewards Gold Card (Review) $195, $0 first year
  • 3X on flights booked directly with airlines
  • 2X on travel expenses booked through Amex Travel
  • 2X at gas stations, supermarkets, and restaurants
  • 1X on all other purchases
Green Card (Review) $95, $0 first year
  • 2X on eligible purchases from Amex Travel
  • 1X on all other purchases

The main differences between these cards are in the rewards earning potential, and the Platinum is packed with additional benefits beyond rewards. Both the Premier Rewards Gold Card and Green Card have a $0 introductory annual fee. On the lowest end of these cards, the Green Card is the only one that has a foreign transaction fee.

The Platinum Card is clearly designed for the most frequent travelers. It comes with a $200 airline fee credit, and access to Amex’s global lounge collection, which includes several brands of airport lounges. Another benefit is the Fine Hotels & Resorts program, which offers complementary perks at hotels around the world. The Platinum Card also comes with Uber VIP Status and $200 in statement credits good for Uber rides in the United States.

Personal Credit Cards

There are two families of American Express personal credit cards, with two cards in each:

  • Blue Cash cards, which earn cash back
  • EveryDay cards, which earn Memebership Rewards® points

These cards are mostly designed to earn rewards for spending at supermarkets, gas stations, and a few other categories. All of these cards have 2.7% foreign transaction fees.

Blue Cash Cards: For Cash Back

There are two cards in the Blue Cash family. They earn cash back rather than Membership Rewards® points, with higher cash back at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations.

Card Annual Fee Cash Back
Blue Cash Preferred (Review) $95
  • 6% at supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year, then 1%)
  • 3% at gas stations and some department stores
  • 1% for all other purchases
Blue Cash Everyday (Review) $0
  • 3% at supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year, then 1%)
  • 2% at gas stations and some department stores
  • 1% for all other purchases

EveryDay Cards: For Membership Rewards Points

The two EveryDay cards earn Membership Rewards® points, and offer bonus points for using the card frequently. The American Express EveryDay card is the only American Express card with no balance transfer fee, which is relatively uncommon among credit cards in general, but can be found on several other cards that are favorable to balance transfers.

Card Annual Fee Points Per Dollar
EveryDay Preferred (Review) $95
  • 3X at supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year, then 1X)
  • 2X at gas stations and Amex Travel
  • 1X on all other purchases
  • 50% point bonus if you make at least 30 purchases in a billing period
EveryDay (Review) $0
  • 2X at supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year, then 1X)
  • 2X at Amex Travel
  • 1X on all other purchases
  • 20% point bonus if you make at least 20 purchases in a billing period

Co-Branded Credit Cards

American Express partners with many different companies to offer co-branded cards. They have several hotel cards designed for spending at Hilton that earn Hilton Honors points, and a Starwood Preferred Guest card for spending at Starwood and Marriott hotels. They also offer a range of airline cards with Delta that give you bonus miles if you spend a certain amount within a few months of account opening.

Hilton Hotels

Card Annual Fee Benefits
Hilton Honors Aspire $450
  • Diamond Hilton Honors Elite Status
  • $100 repeating Hilton credit
  • $250 annual Hilton Resort credit
  • $250 annual airline fee credit
  • Unlimited airport lounge access
Hilton Honors Ascend (Review) $95
  • Gold Hilton Honors Elite Status
  • 10 annual airport lounge visits
Hilton Honors $0
  • Silver Hilton Honors Elite Status

Starwood & Marriott Hotels

If you stay at Starwood or Marriott hotels frequently, this card can be very valuable.

Delta

There’s a wide range of Delta cards. The lowest-end Blue Delta SkyMiles card is the only one with no annual fee, but also the only one with a foreign transaction fee. The highest-end card, the Delta Reserve, comes with lounge access and extra benefits. The main difference among these cards is rewards-earning potential.

Card Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee
Delta Reserve $450 None
Platinum Delta SkyMiles (Review) $195, $0 first year None
Gold Delta SkyMiles $95, $0 first year None
Blue Delta SkyMiles $0 2.7%

Mercedes-Benz

This card is designed for people who plan on buying or leasing a Mercedes-Benz car. Otherwise, there are probably better credit card choices.

About American Express

American Express, also known as Amex, offers a variety of credit cards and charge cards. Their many rewards cards are generally designed for people with great credit. If you’re looking for a new card, American Express may have one that’s a good fit for you. Most American Express cards have an annual fee, but a few don’t. Some have foreign transaction fees.

Amex is known for excellent customer service compared to other credit card issuers. In 2017, they placed first in J.D. Power’s annual Credit Card Satisfaction Survey. Since this annual survey started in 2007, American Express has always come in either first or second.

Many American Express cards earn Membership Rewards® points. These can be redeemed for gift cards, or they could be transferred to a partner loyalty program as airline miles or hotel points. They can also be redeemed for statement credits, but you’ll get less value per point if you redeem that way.

American Express also offers a strong lineup of business credit cards and charge cards. These small business cards are marketed under the OPEN brand. If you’re interested in those, check out our overview of Amex business cards here.

Amex Benefits

American Express may provide some of the following features with their cards:

  • Complimentary ShopRunner Membership: Provides free two-day shipping and returns at participating online retailers.
  • Purchase Protection: If an eligible item you buy is lost or damaged, you can get reimbursement.
  • Extended Warranty: Eligible manufacturer’s warranties can be extended by a certain amount.
  • Global Assist Hotline: Call for help when traveling 100 miles or more from home.
  • Travel Accident Insurance: Provides coverage in case of an accident while traveling by common carrier.
  • Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance: Provides coverage for rented vehicles against collision damage and theft, as long as the rental company’s insurance is declined.
  • Fraud Protection: You won’t be held liable for fraudulent purchases made to your card account (contact customer support immediately if you suspect fraud).
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